JOHANNESBURG – Luc Eymael will be thrown into the spotlight yet again this month when Free State Stars, a side he’s turned into a well-oiled machine this season, faces timid giants Kaizer Chiefs twice in different competitions.
The Belgian coach has had to field questions on whether he would be leaving the Bethlehem outfit for greener pastures - Chiefs or SuperSport United - at the end of the campaign.
“I have a contract for two years here,” Eymael said ahead of Stars hosting Amakhosi at Goble Park in an Absa Premiership clash tonight. They then travel to FNB Stadium two weeks later for a Nedbank Cup semifinal tie against the same team.
“I am focusing on the job at hand and for me it is just a coincidence that we are playing Chiefs twice in the same month. I have had to answer these questions about interest from SuperSport and Chiefs a lot recently and I can confirm that I have not spoken to anyone about the jobs there.
I have a lot of respect for Kaitano Tembo and Steve Komphela - two very good coaches at very good clubs. If I am approached I will have to speak to management here at Stars. I have a buy-out clause, but my focus is still the team and what we are building.”
Stars look an impressive team now that the Belgian, who first arrived in South Africa to coach Polokwane City in 2016, has worked his magic.
What was supposed to be a season in which they again try avoid relegation has turned into one that sees them as dark horses in the title race and could all but end Amakhosi’s ambitions to remain in the hunt if they beat them tonight.
Eymael said he only wants to finish in the top eight: “I think maybe we can finish higher. But my aim has always been a top eight target because this club hasn’t been there in a long time.
We are already talking about next season and looking at players that are out of contracts and possibly bringing in a striker. So that shows my focus is here and on the first game against Chiefs.”
Stars are in fourth place, with Chiefs just below them and a point behind after 24 games.